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How to Get the Key Skills All Graduates Need in 2018

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Sponsored by LUISS Guido Carli University

If you’re a graduate entering the world of work in 2018, you have to be prepared to meet an extensive range of criteria for whatever industry you choose to work in, from the right university qualification to sufficient work experience in a relevant field.

You must also be able to show you have soft skills and a number of non industry-specific skills, which will ensure you can keep pace with the challenges of our changing economy.

A study published by CBI last year identified the top skills which are most in-demand for graduate jobs across all sectors in the United Kingdom. Here’s a closer look at these essential skills and how you can get them.

Attitudes and aptitudes for work

The CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey found that employers focus on the attitudes and personalities that will enable graduates to thrive in the workplace.

“Attitudes and aptitudes for work” was the most widely cited factor among graduate recruiters, with over half of employers ranking it as the most important consideration and another third of respondents expressing dissatisfaction with their graduates’ self-management and resilience skills.

To help students prepare for the workplace, some universities and business schools have incorporated new teaching techniques and collaborations with industry into their curriculum and student services.

Among them, the Italian university LUISS Guido Carli University and the LUISS Business school help students develop the soft skills they need to thrive in the workplace.

In particular, the LUISS Business School represents a bridge between the academic and business world and leads the development and the growth of individuals and companies.

It aims to develop students’ cognitive and soft skills, their capacity to relate in an international and multi-ethnic environment, to learn from experience, and to know their own mission and vision for the future. This is mainly achieved through the promotion of an entrepreneurial spirit introducing innovative programs where analytical thinking combined with a “can-do” attitude will lead to growth.

Business and customer awareness

A whopping 40 percent of recruiters are dissatisfied with graduate applicants’ l business and customer awareness skills, and unfortunately the gap between education and industry can leave some young people woefully ill-prepared for their jobs.

Of course, work experience is an effective way of building commercial acumen and a deeper understanding of industry and customer expectations.

Internships can give graduates a unique insight into their chosen industry, not to mention invaluable connections which could prove useful in their job search.

Another place to look for career advice is your university, though some institutions are better at providing tailored advice than others.

LUISS Guido Carli University, for example, has launched the Adoption Lab Project, a brilliant initiative which connects students with companies to help them get a sense of what employers want before they start their job search.

The Adoption Lab Project organizes regular group tours of companies’ headquarters and on-campus company visits, where students get personalized feedback from potential employers on specific projects and case studies.

Teamwork and soft skills

Soft skills are the personal attributes that enable you to communicate and work well with others and aren’t necessarily the type of thing covered in a typical degree program. However, they’re especially important as you need to be able to show you’ll be able to enter the workforce and work with colleagues seamlessly.

Most graduate employers in fact will look for signs you’re able to work harmoniously with others and evidence of soft skills can often be the difference between two well-qualified candidates for a role.

LUISS Guido Carli University offers students the opportunity to take part in extracurricular activities, such as problem-solving labs, cross-cultural labs, and arts and craft workshops.

Participating students learn to relate to others and communicate their ideas or projects more effectively. They’re faced with problems and encouraged to come up with solutions as part of a group. The Department of Business and Management requires first-year master’s degree students to register for a four-credit ERS (Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability) Lab.

Students are required to participate in an ERS Lab during the II semester of the I year, (February-May,) or in July for those who choose a volunteer program.

International awareness and language skills

Graduate applicants are widely seen by employers as being the weakest when it comes to their language skills and international awareness.

In fact, 39 percent of recruiters expressed dissatisfaction with graduates’ international awareness, and 47 percent with their language skills.

As more and more businesses expand their operations across geographical and cultural boundaries, graduate applicants are under growing pressure to develop international experience and learn a new language before they enter the workplace.

Interestingly, the unemployment rate five years after graduation is 23 percent lower among students who studied abroad than among their peers with no international experience, according to an independent Erasmus study.

The Erasmus survey, which interviewed 80,000 students and businesses, also discovered that 64 percent of employers say that students with international experience are given greater professional responsibility.

This is why grad schools around the world have turned to English as their language of instruction, opening the door for students to pursue their undergraduate, graduate (Luiss University) or postgraduate studies abroad.

Among them, LUISS Business School offers a range of one-year international master’s programs fully taught in English in the fields of economics and finance, business and management, political science and law.

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